I decided to do this race kind of last minute for three reasons:
1) Our club was only doing 6 miles on Saturday and I needed to run longer.
2) Quite a few members of our club were already running, and;
3) I ran for FREE! The race director does a really great thing. He will give you free entry to any of his races if you volunteer at one. So Teresa and I volunteered at the packet pick up on Friday and ran Saturday for free!
This was the inaugural Freedom 1/2, so things were a little disorganized. The packet pick up was a nightmare in part due to the 200+ registrations that came Friday. Some people didn't get their bibs or timing chips until race morning. When we ran out of t-shirts, people had to stand around and wait for an hour until the t-shirt guy could bring more. But, overall people were excited to run!
Diane met me at my house at 4:45am and we headed to the State Capitol to catch the bus to the start at Emigration Canyon. We were on the first bus to the start so we also got first crack at the port-a-potties! Clean and no lines!! About 10 minutes later, they were packed!! The canyon quickly filled with 450+ runners.
Start time was scheduled for 7:00am, but due to some bus problems the race was delayed 30 minutes. This usually wouldn't be a big deal, but Utah in July can be hot, so the earlier we start, the less we have to worry about melting in the hot sun.
At the Start
At about 7:30 the race started, and we were off. Diane and I lost Teresa from the start. She was doing great! We headed down Emigration Canyon enjoying the scenery and chatting to other runners along the way.
The course was beautiful. Running down the canyon, into This is the Place, then onto the Bonneville trail.
Me on the Bonneville Trial.
We headed back into the city passed Red Butte. There was an oil spill there a few weeks ago and the re-opened a section of the area for us to run through. There were still crews there working on the clean up.
As we headed down 11th Avenue, the course was familiar and I knew the slight down hill to the finish was going to be nice. The temps were warm but not overly hot. Diane and I relaxed and rounded our way down to the Capitol and the finish line. This was Diane's first 1/2 marathon in Utah and she was looking for the finish. As I had run the State Capitol 1/2 on Memorial day (ran by the same race director), I knew to look for the red, white and blue balloons. Happy to be done Diane and I crossed the line in 2:10! A PR for Diane!
We got our medals and met Teresa (who took a nasty fall, but still managed to run a great race), Bob.B, Bob K., Earl at the finish.
Diane, Teresa and I at the Finish!
Earl, Bob B. and Bob K. at the Finish!
After the race we all went to the Corner Bakery for a nice breakfast. It was a great way to celebrate, but my legs are sore today!